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Northern California Educational Leadership Consortium

NorCal ELC Newsletter

Join the NorCal ELC Network and we’ll send you an email when each newsletter is available. Our newsletter is an information source for project activities, events, resources, school success stories, and hot topics for schools in the Shasta Region of 21CSLA.



NorCal Educator's Digest

June/July 2021


NorCal ELC's 2021 Summer Institute

On June 28th and 29th, 2021, the NorCal Educational Leadership Consortium (NorCal ELC) celebrated the end of year 1 of its three year grant. A seamless two day summer institute facilitated by Abeo School Change was filled with keynotes, learning sessions, team time and a showcase by Cohort 1 teams sharing Ignite presentations. Fifteen teams of educators across 11 Northern California counties in Cohort 1 began in December, 2020.  After six months of learning, coaching and team work addressing a local equity centered problem of practice, each team shared their learning journey through a five minute storytelling presentation utilizing the Ignite format. 

One team’s Ignite, presented by Anna Johnson, representing Palermo Middle School focused on improving the executive functioning of students.  This “problem of practice” was based on challenges with chronic absenteeism and students with high rates of trauma. Ms. Johnson noted that, “Teachers sometimes take organization skills for granted and may think students should have developed these skills.”  The team decided to do a Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) improvement cycle on the use of Cornell Notes. Sixth through eighth grade Social Studies teachers piloted the project by modeling the guided note taking process, then having students practice and use it. Social Studies scores of all students went up and the number of lessons that needed repeating went down. Student confidence increased. Palermo plans to expand use of Cornell Notes with other teachers this next year. See their template here.   For more information on optimizing executive functioning for students, see a research article here (Adele Diamond, 10/14) and this recent post on Edutopia. 

One goal of the NorCal ELC is to deepen relationships and connections among educators with the hope that this enhances sharing of “what’s working” in rural Northern California. Evidence of this was witnessed during the Summer Institute when three separate teams shared their spotlights focused on improving outcomes for marginalized students through their equity centered problems of practice. Dave McKay, Principal in Chico Unified School District presented, “Overcoming a Culture of Complacency” acknowledging that the district didn't’t have a comprehensive plan to address racial inequities and are now, through this project, focusing on how to “...come together on common ground to identify and remove barriers for students”.  

Nick Wilson, from Durham Unified, presented on equity and access to dual enrollment courses. After the team began researching and reflecting, they arrived at a key principle: acceleration rather than remediation.  Namely, what support do students need? They found and tested the “passing the mic”  strategy - listening to the students and families they were trying to reach. “It’s about those relationships with families”, noted team member Alex. Their efforts have paid off thus far and showed “overwhelming” results in improving enrollment of their targeted students. 

These presentations resonated with Vanessa Ortiz, from Glenn County Office of Education who, after hearing their presentations commented, “Team Ortiz needs to connect with Team Wilson and Team McKay.” Team Ortiz has been addressing inequities facing underserved language learners and learners with disabilities. Team Ortiz used a powerful shoe analogy during their Ignite: “Equality is when everyone gets a pair of shoes. Equity is that everyone gets shoes that fit.”  NorCal ELC hopes to continue to facilitate opportunities for teams like these to come together, share, collaborate and innovate in service of equity for our 12 county Shasta Region. 

All Cohort 1 Ignite presentations will be available soon on the NorCal ELC website.



NorCal ELC Webinar Series

We’re sponsoring a series of webinars that focus on increasing equity in education and social and emotional learning. The next live cast webinar with Kendra Tyler will be on July 29th from 1 - 2:30 PM Pacific time on Zoom. Future 2021 webinars are listed below. Recordings will be archived on our website.

Give Kids the Whole Buffet: Reducing Barriers Using UDL

By Kendra Tyler
Thursday, July 29, 1-2:30 PM (Pacific Time)

Join Kendra Tyler of the Glenn County Office of Education for this interactive webinar packed full of lesson planning and UDL take-away strategies to address barriers within curriculum, instruction, materials, and assessment. Receive support for using UDL guidelines and principles through a "buffet" of digital and non-digital tools so you can support ALL students as you activate engagement, action, expression, and representation, and create expert learners in our schools.

Register here(opens in new window) to attend this webinar.



Upcoming NorCal ELC Webinars

Intro to Restorative Practice and Circles

By Karina Bauza-Schuler
Monday, August 23, 3:30-5 PM (Pacific Time)

Restorative Practice is an emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities. In this experiential workshop, participants will learn about the Restorative Practice framework, and how to facilitate Restorative Circles in their classroom and school. These processes can create a positive, safe-brave learning environment for all members.

Register here(opens in new window) to attend this webinar.


You Told Us to Think Outside the Box: River Jim Canoeing, SEL & Improved Life Trajectories

With Bill Shively, Bill Rich, and Sandra Azevedo
Dates: Tuesday, September 21     Thursday, September 23     Tuesday, September 28
All sessions from 3:30-5 PM (Pacific Time)

This is a three part interactive presentation where you can learn how to utilize innovation to leverage play, social and emotional learning, and neuroscience to support at-promise students.

Register here(opens in new window) to attend this three part webinar. 



Archived Webinars

Healing-Centered Teaching: Supporting Students and Self

With Dr. Jamie Gunderson and Dr. Rebecca Justeson of the CSU, Chico School of Education

This presentation focuses on helping you understand the influences of stress and trauma on learning and teaching, and identifying healing-centered teaching practices, as well as tools for supporting students in crisis. Educators prepare to face challenging educational contexts head-on by engaging in self-care, maintaining a focus on behaviors that enhance resilience, and exploring post-traumatic growth as a pathway to healing and mitigating long-term intergenerational impacts in communities affected by stress and trauma.

View recorded webinar here. (COMING SOON)



NorCal Pro-Learning Survey

Help Us Identify Professional Learning Needs

Each year NorCal ELC is tasked with identifying educator professional learning needs within our northern California region. This information is used to adjust our local offerings and to report to 21CSLA and the California Department of Education. You can help us with this by responding to a brief survey.

Click Pro Learning Survey 2021(opens in new window) to take the survey.